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Descendants of Thomas Milholland (1798-1862)

Introduction:  The following typed record was sent to me by Mrs. Sherman (Wilma West) Miller of Los Altos, California with a short cover letter dated July 4, 1975. The top of the photocopied pages has a notation: “February 1974 Records sent by Florence Milholland, Georgetown, Illinois.” According to Wilma, Florence was her cousin. A handwritten note from Wilma at the top of the first page says:  “I have the Civil War papers for Thomas and Adam.”
Since the names of this family are similar to those in my direct line, I’m providing this as a research tool for those who may be interested in their Milholland ancestry. See also the following record on another Thomas Milholland in Franklin Co., Indiana.


First Generation

MILHOLLAND, THOMAS, b. March 4, 1798, Brookville, Ind., m. March 22, 1821, Franklin [Co.], Susannah Wallace Richey, b. Sept. 10, 1803, Brookville, Franklin Co., Ind., d. June 19, 1889. [He] d. Nov. 11, 1862, at Georgetown, Vermillion Co., Ill., [while] on leave from Civil War Co. C, 73rd Ill. Inf. Children:

  1. Mary Ann Milholland, b. Feb. 5, 1822; m. (1) James Fletcher Mar. 2, 1843; (2) Bill Johnston; [She] d. Feb. 11, 1891.

  2. Esther Malvina Milholland, b. May 12, 1826, d. Nov. 5, 1838.

  3. Emily Milholland, b. Nov. 15, 1827; m. Francis Esley July 29, 1847; d. Aug. -- 1899.

  4. Allison Milholland, b. April 4, 1829, m. Amanda Newman, Feb. 22, 1850, d. April 12, 1855.

  5. ADAM RICHEY MILHOLLAND, (OUR great-grandfather) b. Feb. 15, 1831, Brookville, Franklin Co., Indiana, m. Mary Catherine Walker, b. March 20, 1830, d. Feb. 14, 1871, Georgetown, Ill. Adam served in the Civil War, Co. G, 28th Ill. Infantry; d. Aug. 22, 1912, Scottland, Edgar Co., Ill., bur. Ridgefield Farm, Ill. Aug. 23, 1912.

  6. Joseph Washington Milholland, b. April 30, 1832, m. ?, d. April 6, 1856.

  7. Martha Milholland, b. Feb. 4, 1834, m. Richard Henderson, d. April 1, 1871.

  8. David Wallace Milholland, b. Feb. 24, 1836; d. 1918.

  9. Alvira Milholland, b. Mar. 27, 1838, d. Oct. 26, ----.

  10. John Hardy Milholland, b. Feb. 5, 1841, m. Nancy E. Rogers, d. April 26, 1919. [He became a] Cumberland Presbyterian minister. [A] grandson John [was] professor at U. of Mich. at Ann Arbor.

  11. Margaret Milholland, b. April 12, 1843, d. April 1, 1871.

  12. Amos Milholland, b. June 5, 1845, m. (1) Ann _____; (2) _____, d. ?

  13. Eliza Jane Milholland, [name is written Elizabeth on Civil War papers], b. Aug. 6, 1847, d. 1890.

Second Generation

ADAM RICHEY MILHOLLAND, b. Feb. 15, 1831, Brookville, Franklin Co., Indiana, m. 1851? Mary Catherine Walker, b. March 20, 1830, d. Feb. 14, 1871, Georgetown, Ill. He d. Aug. 12, 1912, Scottland, Edgar Co., Ill., bur. Ridgefield Farm, Ill. Children:

  1. Mary E. Milholland, b. Aug. 4, 1852, m. Leander Hayworth (Haworth?), d. 1929.

  2. A. J. Milholland, Aug. 2, 1855, m. ? d. ?

  3. SARAH ANGELINE MILHOLLAND, (our grandmother), b. Dec. 12, 1856, Clark Co., Ill., m. Henry Clay West on Jan. 20, 1876 by Titus Bennett, Justice of the Peace, Vermillion Co., Ill. [Henry] b. Jan. 18, 1852 Hume, Edgar Co., Ill., d. Oct. 30, 1936, Callaway, [Custer Co.], Nebraska, bur. Arnold, Neb. [Sarah] d. March 16, 1917, Callaway, Nebr., bur. Arnold, Nebr.

  4. Wm. Allen Milholland, b. Sept. 14, 1859, d. unmarried, Jan. 27, 1930.

  5. Flora Ellen (Ella) Milholland, b. March 15, 1862, m. Will Smith, d. Feb. 15, 1934. [Handwritten note:] daughter — Lena Smith Carmack - Dana, Ind., 90 yrs. old Sept., 1973.

  6. Martha Jane (Mattie) Milholland, b. Feb., 1864, m. Warren Newcomb, d. May 25, 1956. [sic]

  7. James Hardy Milholland, b. Feb. 21, 1867, d. Nov. 12, 1893.

  8. Charles Edgar Milholland, b. Aug. 25, 1869, m. Laura Alice Bratton on Jan. 6, 1901, d. Aug. 13, 1956. Children (third generation):

    1. Nydia Lena Milholland, b. Oct. 6, 1901, m. Thomas Fleming, [who] d. April, 1970, was electrical engi­neer. Son Maurice Eugene, lab technician, Air Resources Board, state of Calif.

    2. Floyd Hardy Milholland, b. Dec. 2, 1902, Pittsburgh, Pa., m. Marjorie McClay.

    3. Madge Milholland, b. May 28, 1904, m. John Allen, d. Dec. 19, 1971, Hamilton, Ohio.

    4. Maurice Charles Milholland, b. June 30, 1906, Westville, Ill., m. Marie Silagyr.  Son, John Charles, Frankfort, Ind., asst. principal & basketball coach

    5. Margaret Jane Milholland, b. Sept. 29, 1907, d. Mar. 8, 1966, Butte, [Silver Bow Co.,] Montana.

    6. Hallie Comet Milholland, b. May 2, 1910, d. Aug. 16, 1921.

    7. Florence Ellen Milholland, b. Feb. 6, 1912, not married, became a teacher.

    8. Mary Elizabeth Milholland, b. April 25, 1914, m. Walter Smith, resided in Mullan, [Shoshone Co.], Idaho.

      Florence Milholland’s source on Charles’ children: “Letters from Nydia Fleming, Marie Milholland, & Florence Milholland.”

Note:  Also enclosed were xeroxed pages with no source attribution, but it looks like a few pages copied from a county history of Franklin County, Indiana with some information underlined as follows:

p. 99 — [handwritten note:]  Tax Duplicate Brookville 1811

Comment:  all of Franklin County, not just Brookville Township. Assuming that the "Thomas Millholland" on this list was the one born about 1785, and married to Margaret Drybread, then the John Millholland on this list was probably the father of the Thomas Milholland, born in 1798, as the latter would have only been 13 years of age, and certainly not a taxpayer in 1811!

p. 113, excerpt from section entitled “Pioneer Settlement”

“It is not always an easy matter in counties as old as Franklin to establish the facts concerning who were the first to settle in a given township, for be it remembered that no one now lives who saw the ‘green glad solitude’ of what is now Brookville town­ship in its virgin state. It is known of record, however, that the first land entered from the government within what is now Brookville township was the east half of section 4, township 9, range 2, and that it was entered by Robert Templeton on September 24, 1804. The second entry was made four days later . . .

“1805 — James Adair, . . . John Milhollund, [sic] Samuel and Charles Scott . . .”

— The End —

Family of Thomas & Margaret (Drybread) Milholland

Below are copies of handwritten letters sent to me by Don Dodson in 1982, concerning his ancestors, who also lived in Franklin Co., Indiana, and may have been related to the family of Wilma (West) Miller.

March 4, 1982
Terre Haute, IN

Dear Ms. Bunce,

About a year ago I saw a reference to the name “Milholland” in the Genealogical Helper and scribbled it down. Today I ran across the note and decided I’d write you.

My mother’s maiden name is Milholland. Our Milholland forebears lived in Franklin Co., Ind., during the early 1800s. They seem to have arrived in Indiana in 1810-15, and we believe they migrated up from the Carolinas or from Virginia. Pennsylvania is also a possibility.

My great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Milholland, was married to Margaret Drybread. He was born c. 1780, she c. 1785. One of their sons, Thomas II (1817-1864), married Matilda Gant (1823-1906) — these are my g-g-grandparents.

This is a very sketchy description of our strain of the Milholland family, but it should be enough for you to tell whether there is any correlation with the Milhollands you are interested in.

If you would like any further information on these Hoosier Milhollands, let me know. I would like to know what Milhollands you have been interested in. Drop me a line at your convenience.


Don Dodson

I sent a reply, and Mr. Dodson sent me the following information:

March 21, 1982
Terre Haute, IN

Dear Bonnie,

Thank you for your reply to my letter and the reference to Mrs. Miller. Milhollands are few and far between, so it is especially encouraging to hear from someone familiar with the family name.

From the information you and Mrs. Miller sent, it seems likely that her ancestors and mine were related since both families of Milhollands were among the first settlers of Franklin Co., Ind. Still, we have established no definite link.

Although “my” Milhollands are linked to Pennsylvania, they could well have some connection to the Carolinas, since there was a migration from the Carolinas into the Whitewater Valley in the early 1800s. Your family and my family may tie in together yet!

Hope the enclosed sheets will be helpful references. Thanks again.


Don Dodson

[Enclosure: 2 typed pages]

Compiled by: Donald W. Dodson, Terre Haute, IN

THOMAS MILHOLLAND, B. about 1780 in Pa.; farmer by profession
    and wife
MARGARET DRYBREAD (DREIBREAD), b. about 1785 in Pa. (couldn’t read or write)


The above information is gathered mainly from the 1850 Census of Whitewater Township, Franklin Co., Ind. Living with the Milhollands was a Thomas Hilton, 18 years of age, who was a baker by trade.

Probably THOMAS and MARGARET had more children who had already left home. One of these was my great-great grandfather, THOMAS II. We know that he is a son because my great-grandfather mentioned THOMAS and MARGARET DRYBREAD as his grandparents when he was asked to recall family history.

THOMAS MILHOLLAND II, b. October 3, 1817 (1820?) in Franklin Co., Ind. d. May 8, (18?), 1864; buried in Cave Springs Cem. in Jennings Co., Ind.

and wife
MATILDA GANT, b. Jan. 22, 1823 in Franklin Co., Ind. d. March 11, 1906; buried in Cave Springs Cemetery, Jennings Co. Ind. Children:

SILAS is my great-grandfather; Mary Ann, my great-grandmother.

We have pinpointed the lands owned by the Milhollands and Gants in Franklin County. The lands lay north-northwest of Cedar Grove, Ind., in very hilly terrain.

THOMAS II and MATILDA moved to Sand Creek Township, Jennings Co., apparently during the 1840s. Relatives of ours still own the land to which they moved.

A Mrs. Albert Milholland wrote a few years ago to my grandmother. She included a listing of her husband's family. She said his great-grandfather was John Milholland, a soldier, Penn. Dutch; his great-grandfather was Jan Lyn Milholland, Scotch and Irish.

John and Jan had children:  William, a teacher; Margaret Milholland Borden, farmers; Joseph Milholland, a farmer; Isabella Milholland Wakins, farmers; Thomas Milholland, a farmer; Harriet Milholalnd Van Dusan, farmers; and James Christopher Milholland, a farmer and the grandfather of Albert.

James Christopher Milholland and his wife Lucinda Davis had 11 children; they lived in or around Greensburg, Indiana (county seat of Franklin Co.) for the remainder of the 1800s.

We have found the name DRYBREAD (DREIBREAD) in the 1790 and 1800 Censuses of Pennsylvania in Allegheny and York Counties. York Co. is just west of Lancaster Co., heart of Penn. Dutch territory. Variations of the name MILHOLLAND were also included in those censuses.

When my great-uncle compiled notes on family his­tory several decades ago based on the reminisences [sic] of my great-grandfather Silas, he wrote down that THOMAS I was of direct Irish descent and that he was born in some eastern state; MARGARET, he said, was Penn. Dutch.

Donald W. Dodson

Terre Haute, Indiana

A letter dated February 5, 1982, from Mrs. Wilma Miller included a photocopy of a letter she had received from Linda K. Simmons, then editor of the Illiana Genealogical & Historical Society Bulletin, of Oakwood, Illinois, dated October 6, 1981, which includes some additional information on Thomas and Margaret (Drybread) Milhollin:

Your names of “MILHOLLAND” caught my eye be­cause the name is also on one of my lines . . . [T]en years ago a cousin of my father’s put together a family history she had been working on for many years. I got it out and was going through it, the cousin had a way of including almost everyone, even those not connected. . . .

You listed Clark Co., KY.  [Cousin’s] Book lists Clark Co., Ohio where she found many Millhollin (take your pick of spelling, over 6 ways!) families. Then she had cousin in Mesa, Arizona check census films of 1830 Franklin Co., Ind. & gives listing found for both Thomas Sr. & Jr. Also, for Butler Co., Ohio has Thomas Millhollin m. 4 July 1805 to Margaret Drybread. Then she wrote to Franklin Co., Ind. and got two estate settlements. One for a Joseph Milholland with an estate balance for heirs of $14.03 ¼ and no names of heir for the small bal­ance. Estate date Aug. term, 1832, page 225, Book C of will records. Also on 11 Feb 1834, page 384 of Will Record C. Another estate Aug. 20, 1863 of Thomas Milholland a grant of Administration to Samuel Holliday with bond of $1600.00, page 421 of Probate Record no. 3. These records in Brookville, Ind.”

[Emphasis added]

The following is a short descendancy chart, dated May 13, 1989, compiled by the late Dr. Frank E. Milhollan on the family of Thomas Milholland, which appears to show additional relatives of Don Dodson, but no sources were included with the chart.

0 1 2 3 4 5
Thomas Milholland (1784- )
+Margaret Drybread
: Thomas Milholland II (1817-1864)
: + Matilda Gant (1823-1906)
: . Silas Gant Milholland (1856-1946)
: . +Mary Ann Tomlinson (1858-1950)
: . . Harry Clyde Milholland
: . . William Grover Milholland (1892-1980)
: . . + Helen Grace Clark (1900- )
: . . Doris Helen Milholland (1921-1959)
: . . + Albert Wright Jr.
: . . Richard Clark Milholland (1923- )
: . . + Patricia Cowan
: . . . Judith L. Milholland (1946- )
: . . . James R. Milholland (1948 - )
: . . . Jo Ann Milholland (1963-1963)
: . . Betty Louise Milholland (1924 - )
: . . + Billy Joe Dodson
: . . John William Milholland (1927- )
: . . + Priscilla Jean Bukenhofer (1928- )
: . . . Thomas C. Milholland (1953- )
: . . . David W. Milholland (1955- )
: . . . Mark A. Milholland (1957- )

Additionally, below is a biographical sketch on a man who may have been related to one of the above families of Franklin Co., Indiana.

Excerpt from p. 629 of the book History of Marshall County, Iowa, published by The Western Historical Company, 1878.

Milholland, J.D., farmer, Sec. 25, P.O. Box Spring Creek, Tama Co., owns 160 acres valued at $6,000.00; born in Franklin Co., Ind., Dec. 4, 1819; moved to this county in May, 1856, settling where he now lives; he is one of the old settlers of this town­ship; when he settled here Iowa City was the nearest railroad station; seventy-five miles distant, where he now lives was a bleak, unbroken prairie; now railroads cross his county in every direction; the wild prairie has been transformed into well-tilled farms, dotted with beautiful groves and elegant farm houses. He married Henrietta Randall in Butler Co., Ohio, Dec. 25, 1850; she was born in Caledonia Co., Vt., July 31, 1824; they have three children living and one deceased — Serena E., born in Franklin Co., Ind. June 22, 1852; Florella E. born in the same county May 16, 1854, died Dec. 4, 1877; Frank W. born in this county Dec. 29, 1856; Willie H. also born in this county, Oct. 2, 1862. Is a Republican, and member of the Christian Church.

See also the online copy of the manuscript, The Millholland Family in America by James Harrison Millholland of Pennsylvania, as well as the one “The Mulhollands, History, Genealogy, Letters” by Virginia Carter Stumbough. There is an interesting discussion/speculation on the similarity or connection of the names “Mulholland” and “Milholland” in the The Millholland Family in America manuscript.


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